The makers of the upcoming Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 are offering refunds to fans frustrated over release delays.
Delayed, canceled, scrapped, and repurposed releases seem to be the norm now, especially following the announcement of the next Prince of Persia game by Ubisoft, while their long-awaited Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time still sits in development hell. Well, that game isn’t the only one that has been going through a troubled development; Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is apparently stuck as well, with the developer offering refunds to those who pre-ordered the game.
According to Kotaku, Vampire: The Masquerade publisher Paradox Interactive, also credited with the Age of Wonders franchise, has recently published a few screenshots from the game, hinting at its ongoing development. However, at the same time, the company started handing out refunds to disgruntled players who previously pre-ordered the game when it was first revealed in 2019, with a release date of 2021, which obviously didn’t go according to play. But, there’s more than meets the eye here, and this delay can’t be compared to those we recently received from bigger companies.
Paradox is proactively refunding physical pre-orders of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, including the Collector’s Edition, while refunds for a digital-only version of the game remain optional for the fans. This sounds worrisome in terms of the game’s development, but it also makes complete sense at the same time. Physical releases have been reduced to a disc that contains a CD for digital download only—with very few game files actually on the disc, if any—and burning discs costs money.
The Vampire: The Masquerade franchise has a history of development issues that have plagued it since the development of the first game. Developed by Troika Games and launched in 2004, the original Bloodlines sold only 100,000 copies. Despite all the technical difficulties that marred the game, the original Vampire: The Masquerade was praised by both the critics and the fandom.
But, facing the steep competition from titles such as Half-Life 2, Halo 2, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater—which is getting a remaster—affected the game’s sales.
Still, the fandom hasn’t given up, and the game has become a cult classic, with many of its technical difficulties addressed by the fans themselves. Troika Games was shuttered following the game’s release, and the right to the franchise came into possession of Paradox Interactive in 2015 when some pre-production about the Vampire: The Masquerade sequel was happening behind closed doors at the studio. The game was subsequently announced in 2019 with a 2020 release date, which fell through due to internal struggles within the studio.
Then something dreaded happened; Paradox Interactive announced that the game’s developer, Hardsuit Labs, won’t be working on the game anymore and that the studio was “in the market” for a developer who would finish the production. However, internally, the higher-ups with Paradox considered canceling the whole Vampire: The Masquerade sequel, which is usually what happens when a game switches developers—like the aforementioned Prince of Persia remake. Luckily, they decided to pursue the project further.
While there aren’t that many details surrounding the upcoming Vampire: The Masquerade game, Paradox promised to share more details in September.